Mike Cormack
Mike Cormack
Mike Cormack is a writer, editor and reviewer mostly focusing on China, where he lived from 2007-2014. He was the editor of Agenda Beijing.

New book examines the human consequences of a globalised system in which an American smartphone is produced by a Taiwanese company using a mainland Chinese workforce

The popularity of this disjointed, bloated book, just released in English, is puzzling until it’s seen as a comment on the trauma of the Cultural Revolution.

A Hong Kong academic goes inside China’s illegal prostitution industry, working at a bar in Dongguan, and listens as sex workers reveal their hopes, techniques, how some men humiliate them, and their pride at supporting their families.

In The Unpassing, evocative story about the arbitrariness of life in an unfamiliar place, San Francisco-based author Chia-Chia Lin creates a shadowy world, rich in imagery and atmosphere, seen through a child’s eyes.

Helen Zia’s Last Boat Out of China follows four real-life people who fled Shanghai as youngsters, but too much technical information burdens the narrative, while the personal details seem tame compared with the backdrop of war.

Jackie Chan writes candidly about his troubled past in his book, but leaves out some details of his life. His illegitimate daughter is never mentioned and her actress mother is not named.

The martial arts and film star tells of drinking binges, prostitutes and an affair. He admits to domestic violence such as throwing his son Jaycee across the room.


Untethered from the restrictions of his homeland, the Britain-based author, whose talks at Hong Kong literary festival were cancelled without explanation, draws a dystopic vision of China’s dark realities

The beloved broadcaster and actor brings the 19th-century Royal Navy ship and its crew to life as he relives the perilous expeditions it undertook, even if routine naval life did not always prove exciting

What We Were Promised, Chinese American author’s cleverly plotted debut novel about a well-off couple’s life in the US and China, is full of twists, and insights into Chinese culture, and has an ending that reveals hidden truths.

Xie Hong shows through the innocent eyes of a child how an unnamed but archetypal Chinese town is devastated by one of the worst catastrophes in China’s history, the Great Leap Forward

Author Billy Gallagher tells how CEO Evan Spiegel invented the social app while at Stanford University, then rejected Facebook’s multibillion-dollar acquisition offer in 2013, and recounts Snapchat’s rocky expansion to an IPO

American journalist and author had an instant hit with her 2005 novel We Need to Talk about Kevin but her latest work, The Standing Chandelier, is far from a literary gem

Zhang explores juvenile sexuality and the way trauma is passed down the generations with a strong authorial voice undercut somewhat by a certain repetitiveness in content and themes

Kwan shows again that he can marshal a large cast of memorably egregious characters, and can conjure fashion and interior design on the page, although he spends a little too long getting things started this time

Award-winning Remains of Life, written without chapters or paragraphs, is a technically daunting account of a terrible event from Taiwan’s occupation that has taken 18 years to publish in English, and it’s not hard to see why

With its well-drawn Hong Kong and China locations and its unobtrusive symbolism, German writer’s book The Language of Solitude addresses unspoken depths in contemporary Chinese society

Choo Waihong has a fascinating story to tell, of a tribe in China’s mountainous southwest where women are in charge but, unfortunately, this debut author’s abilities aren’t quite up to the challenge

Pouring economic investment into Asian nations through the ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy is unlikely to give China the influence it craves, economic analyst Tom Miller explains in a new book

Zhang deserves praise for striving to bring to light the seedy demimonde of Shenzhen, the epitome of China’s breakneck transformation into an urban society. Her ambition though outstrips her execution